Friday, July 29, 2005

The Keys to Heterosexuality 

Readers who have been following AmericaBlog's excellent series (here, here, and here) on so-called "conversion therapy" camps, which promise to "rehabilitate" queer adolescents, will be intrigued by the following item from the August Harper's (not, alas, online). The excerpts below come from the rulebook of Refuge, a Memphis-based program run by the Christian ministry Love in Action, which claims to have treated some two dozen unfortunates in the past three years -- albeit with limited success. Be forewarned that, according to LIA dogma, impressionable teens may be doomed to a lifetime of homosexual debauchery by a single peek at the catalogue of Abercrombie & Fitch:

Love in Action wants to encourage each client in affirming his/her gender identity. Therefore, any belongings, appearances, clothing, actions, or humor that might connect a client to an inappropriate past are excluded from the program. These hindrances are called False Images (FIs). FI behavior may include hyper-masculinity, seductive clothing, mannish/boyish attire (on women), excessive jewelry (on men), mascoting, and "campy" or gay/lesbian behavior and talk. Clients should report all FIs, whether their own or another's, to staff . . . .

Men must remove all facial hair seven days weekly, and sideburns must not fall below the top of the ear. Clean, businesslike haircuts must be worn at all times. Hair must be long enough to be pinched between two fingers. Women must shave legs and underarms at least twice weekly.

Fresh undergarments are to be worn at all times. Men may not wear any jewelry other than a watch and a wedding band. Women may wear a pair of simple earrings (one earring per ear). Clients may not wear Abercrombie & Fitch or Calvin Klein brand clothing, undergarments, or accessories.

Men: shirts are to be worn at all times, even while sleeping. Bikini-style underwear is prohibited.
Women: bras must be worn at all times, except while sleeping. Thong-style underwear is prohibited . . . .

Refuge clients must be with at least one parent or guardian at all times when off-campus. They may not enter any restaurants with bars, even when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Clients must be accompanied during any trip to a public rest room.

Clients are not allowed to visit any video, music, or media stores that are not expressly Christian, even if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Clients may visit LifeWay Christian stores with a parent or guardian.

Clients may only read materials approved by staff. No television viewing, going to movies, or reading/watching/listening to secular media of any kind, anywhere within the client's and the parent's/guardian's control. This includes listening to classical music that is not expressly Christian (Beethoven, Bach, etc., are not considered Christian).

No access to malls of any kind.

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